Competition Dreamin'


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Wow. June? We might bust outta the one-airline airlock as early as June? That's the word from Jacqueline Debets, Humboldt County economic development director, who says yesterday's special Headwaters Fund board meeting was held in a rush to speed up negotiations for a fiscal guarantee.

"American Airlines is saying, 'Can you do this now?' They have planes available. They're going to start service in somebody's airport in June," Debets said.

Ooo, ooo, how about our airport?

Just what the Headwaters board and Humboldt County are thinking -- as long as there are enough strings attached to the $500,000 or more that might have to be thrown around before another airline will commit to landing regularly in Humboldt. The precise nature of those strings will be the subject of more special meetings, Debets said, but no newcomer will get the deal that Delta Air Lines got.

"The idea of what was done with Delta, half a million dollars and if you fall one passenger below this limit you can leave and take the money, that they would call dead on arrival," she said.

Gregg Foster, who has been active in helping expand air services in Humboldt, and airport official Emily Jacobs are attending an airline conference in Tampa now, talking with American as well as other airlines.

Debets, speaking late Tuesday morning, had just gotten a text from Foster about the ongoing negotiations. The talks are "tough -- but good" she said.



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